Author Archive Suzanne Hull

BySuzanne Hull

Plan Your Visit to Christkindlmarket Des Moines 2019

Always be prepared…Let us help you plan your visit to Christkindlmarket Des Moines 2019.

PARKING – Enjoy FREE surface lot parking in the two lots between SW 2nd and SW 3rd Streets – there are 373 spots.

Twas the Night Before #CDM2019 Preview Experience on Thursday, December 5, 5 – 9pm. Includes free parking, access to the venue and vendors before the festival opens to the public, a commemorative mug and food/drink tickets. GET TICKETS!

Enjoy a 1/4 lb, coarse-ground, German–style pork bratwurst grilled to perfection from our stand, Bratwurst Imbiss am Markt. Usinger‘s produces many kinds of sausages and meats, in many cases using traditional 19th-century recipes provided by its founder, Fred Usinger of Wehen, Germany. The family-owned company, now in it’s fourth generation, continues to live its slogan of providing “America’s Finest Sausage”;

  • Visit our vendors in traditional wooden vendor stalls | Food & Beverage | Gift & Specialty Items;
  • Spend time at the KinderKorner sponsored by MidAmerican Energy Company learning about European cultures through crafts, stories and activities;
  • Support Iowa-based non-profits by visiting our Weihnachtswald (Christmas forest) and bid on themed trees they have decorated. The item number can be found near each tree. Can’t make it to Christkindlmarket Des Moines? Bid online!;
  • Enjoy three serving areas for Glühwein & Kinderpunsch (and purchase your 2019 commemorative mug!);
  • And two serving areas for beer;
  • Enhance your Glühwein and Kinderpunsch experience with amaretto, apple liqueur, orange liqueur and Stonecastle Verak add-ins;
  • Learn how products are made by taking in our demonstrations;
  • Shop an der Weihnachtsecke (at the Christmas Corner) for 2019 commemorative mugs, beer steins and glassware, European confections, hand-painted, hand-blown glass ornaments from INGE ornaments, Steinbach nutcrackers and Christkindlmarket Des Moines merchandise;
  • Tap your toes in Yuletide Hall – our heated entertainment tent – as you take in folk dancers, choirs, instrumental performances and bands;
  • Sip O’Tannenbock, brewed especially for Christkindlmarket Des Moines by 515 Brewing Company.
  • Attend the Opening ceremony and tree lighting on Friday, December 6th at 6pm as the Christkind delivers her holiday season proclamation accompanied by St. Nicholas. Both will be strolling the market on Saturday and Sunday from 2pm – 4pm;
  • Learn about other European cultures during a European Cultural Heritage “Meet Up” on Saturday, December 7, 6 – 9pm in Yuletide Hall;
  • Follow us on Instagram @christmasdesmoines and Twitter @christmasdsm;
  • Grab a survey in Yuletide Hall. Return the completed survey to the attendant for a chance to win a $100 Visa Gift Card;
  • Bring cash! Many vendors will be taking payment via credit and debit cards and we’ll have an ATM on site.


Christkindlmarket Des Moines will be held at Principal Park’s Main Lot in downtown Des Moines (1 Line Drive, Des Moines, IA 50309).

Dates and Times

Friday, December 6, 2018: 11am – 9pm
Saturday, December 7, 2018: 11am – 9pm
Sunday, December 8, 2018: 11am – 5pm

Christkindlmarket Des Moines is presented by the Des Moines European Heritage Association. Our mission is to connect Iowans with European experiences, language education and cultural experiences.

BySuzanne Hull

Get Excited and Ready to Bid!

Over the last few weeks, we have been introducing you to the 15 non-profit organizations who will be participating in this years’ Christkindlmarket Des Moines Christmas Tree Silent Auction. Below are the names and themes of all 15 trees you can have a chance to take home at the end of CDM 2019.

Item 0101: Military and First Reponders presented by Mackenzie Highlanders Pipes & Drums of Iowa

Decorated with ornaments show casing the different branches of military and first responders

Item 0102: Hearts and Hands presented by Mosaic in Central Iowa

“Christmas will always be as long we stand heart to heart and hand in hand” -Dr. Seuss

Everyone loves Dr Seuss & this is a perfect quote to compliment the values of belonging and connection.   The people supported by Mosaic will be partnering with friends of Mosaic (volunteers) to create ornaments using their artwork.

Item 0103: Red White and Blue presented by Veterans in Agriculture

After serving throughout the world, our nation’s military is always happy to return to the Red, White, and Blue.  This tree is all decked out in those colors and not only are these decorations for Christmas, but many can be used to celebrate other national holidays, like the Fourth of July, Veterans Day, Memorial Day and others

Item 0104: A Gift for the Birds presented by the Pet Project Midwest

Ornaments are made to feed the birds. Place this tree in your yard and watch as the birds feast on a cold winter day. Each ornament in wrapped in cellophane and festive ribbon to protect the ornaments for the duration of the Silent Auction.

Item 0105: A Traditional Danish Christmas presented by The Danish Sisterhood

This tree is decorated with all things to create a traditional Danish Christmas

Item 0106: Julehygge (Christmas “Hygge”) presented by The Danish Brotherhood Lodge #15

“Hygge” is the Danish secret to happy living. This tree is adorned with traditional handmade ornaments. The woven hearts were first made by Hans Christian Andersen in 1860. He also was known for “papirklip” intricate cut out designs made from paper. Straw ornaments and garlands of Danish flags are traditional Christmas tree decorations.

Item 0107: Scottish Heritage presented by the Scottish Heritage Society of Iowa

White lights, tartan ribbon, balls, bells, white Westie Scotty Dogs, and empty mini-whiskey bottles dress up this tree.

Item 0108: French Christmas presented by Alliance Française of Central Iowa

This tree was inspired by the French language and culture

Item 0109: Christmas in Norway presented by Sons of Norway, Marstienen Lodge

The tree is decked out in culturally appropriate decorations of vikings, viking ships, Nisse and Norwegian flags.

Item 0110: Pups at Play presented by Taysia Blue Rescue

Leashes, treat filled ornaments, toys/tennis balls. All these decorations can be used to interact with your dog. Other ornaments include the names of dogs that have been in foster with Taysia Blue rescue in Iowa

Item 0111: Funkel, funkel kleiner Stern (Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star) presented by DMEHA Samstagsschule

A tree decorated to the “tune” of Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star

Item 0112: Home for the Pawlidayz presented by Hope Animal Rescue

Warm country chic feel with highlights of our adoptables and showing rescued is our favorite breed

Item 0113: Deutschland 2020 (Germany 2020) presented by Waukee High School International Club

Deutschland 2020 uses bulbs and ribbons in the German flag colors – Black, Red, and Gold (Schwarz, Rot, Gold). The colors celebrate the unity of West and East Germany on the 30th Anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall. Soft white lights shine a beacon for all countries that Democracy will prevail and unite the people. Using clear ornaments and pretzels highlight German Culture that brings Joy during the year.

Item 0114: Rockstar/VIP presented by Star Treatments

Children served by Star Treatments are referred to as “VIP” “Rockstar” so this tree will be adorned with Gold/Red Ribbon, Guitar picks, Bass Guitar Strings, Lanyards, Camera’s…and other items that relate to VIP treatment.

Item 0115: Guardian Angels and Scandinavian Gnomes presented by Daughters of Norway, Eva Nansen Lodge 46

This tree is decorated with a variety of Winter Solstice guardian angels and Scandinavian Mythological guardian gnomes that charmingly characterize the Christmas holidays and accented with lights and ornament balls.

Bidding will open Thursday, December 5th at 5pm during our preview party “Twas the Night Before CDM” and will continue through Sunday, December 8th at 3pm. Bidding is available online and via text.

BySuzanne Hull

Silent Auction Tree Blog Feature: Star Treatments

Star Treatments is another new organization decorating a tree at this years’ 4th annual Christkindlmarket Des Moines Silent Auction.

Star Treatments was founded as a non-profit organization by Matt DiRito and is currently celebrating its 5th year as an organization. Their mission is to provide a VIP transportation experience to medical facilities for children receiving ongoing medical care.

“We work with children whom require hospital visits that are not only frequent, but often far away. By providing these children and their families VIP style transportation to and from their medical appointments, we have seen a dramatic effect in the child’s morale surrounding their entire visit,” explains Jamie, a Star Treatments representative. “Not only does it provide a comfortable and exciting experience where parents can comfort their child, but it removes the out of pocket expenses that can drain a traveling family. There are no more concerns of gas prices, vehicle reliability, or whose turn it is to drive- all of the focus is now turned to the child and their healing journey on the road.”

Star Treatments’ focus has always been providing their services, therefore they don’t place much emphasis on promoting the organization. Decorating a tree, allows them to be directly involved in the community and provides a space where Star Treatments can be seen and individuals can be introduced to the organization. Funds from the purchase of this tree will be used to provide VIP transportation to two children from Iowa receiving this service.

Children served by Star Treatments are referred to as “VIP” and “Rockstar” so the tree will be adorned with Gold/Red Ribbon, Guitar picks, Bass Guitar Strings, Lanyards, Camera’s…and other items that relate to VIP treatment.

To bid on this tree, visit Christkindlmarket Des Moines at Principal Park December 6th-8th and the preview event December 5th.

For more information on Star Treatments, visit their website.

BySuzanne Hull

Silent Auction Tree Blog Feature: Danish Brotherhood Lodge #15

Denmark is going to have quite a showing at the 4th annual Christkindlmarket Silent Auction. The Danish Brotherhood Lodge #15 is another new organization this year adding festive Danish flare.

Lodge #15 wants to promote Danish heritage and traditions in the Greater Des Moines area with their visibility at Christkindlmarket Des Moines. They will be using the funds from their tree to assist other charitable causes.

If you are in need a of a live, cut tree that has been lovingly decorated, stop by Christkindlmarket Des Moines and place a bid December 6th-8th with a preview event December 5th.

For more information on the Danish Brotherhood Lodge #15, visit their Facebook page.

BySuzanne Hull

Silent Auction Tree Blog Feature: Alliance Française of Central Iowa

Alliance Française of Central Iowa is another new addition to the Christkindlmarket Des Moines Silent Auction.

The Alliance is an all-volunteer, non-profit, educational, and cultural organization whose mission is to help foster friendship and collaboration between the people of Central Iowa and the French speaking world. They work to develop knowledge and appreciation of the French culture and the French language.

Alliance Française of Central Iowa, established in 1994, is part of the Alliance Française global network that dates from 1883, when the Alliance de Paris was created. Today, there are over 1200 Alliance chapters established in 112 countries.

Come to Christkindlmarekt Des Moines December 6th-8th to enjoy this French inspired tree and make a bid to support this organization.

For more information on Alliance Française of Central Iowa, please visit their website.

BySuzanne Hull

Silent Auction Tree Blog Feature: Danish Sisterhood

Christkindlmarket Des Moines would like to welcome first time participants in the Silent Auction, The Danish Sisterhood.

Inspired by the success of the Danish Brotherhood of America, Christine Hemmingsen, a Danish immigrant from Orup, Denmark, established the Danish Sisterhood of America in 1883. The Sisterhood works to strengthen, maintain and preserve the Danish heritage and traditions for future generations.

“We want to let the public know about our organization. Many people in Des Moines have no idea there is an organization whose sole purpose is to celebrate our Danish heritage and to teach and pass on the traditions of Denmark,” explains Sisterhood member, Carol Rudisill.

The money raised in the Silent Auction will be used in service to other organizations including the Museum of Danish America in Elk Horn, Iowa. The museum is archiving and cataloging artifacts reaching back to the late 1800’s from Danish Sisterhoods across the United States. The Sisterhood also supports Ronald McDonalds House, Dorothy’s House, and the Food Bank of Iowa.

If you would like to bid on “A Traditional Danish Christmas” tree, visit Christkindlmarket Des Moines December 6th-8th or grab a ticket to the preview night December 5th at 5pm.

For more information the The Danish Sisterhood of America, please visit their website.

BySuzanne Hull

What’s new at #CDM2019

As festival organizers, we try to bring something new or different to Christkindlmarket Des Moines each year. Check out what’s new for #CDM2019 at Principal Park.

1. PARKING – Enjoy FREE surface lot parking in the two lots between SW 2nd and SW 3rd Streets – there are 373 spots.

2. ‘Twas the Night Before #CDM2019 Preview Experience on Thursday, December 5, 5 – 9pm. Includes free parking, access to the venue and vendors before the festival opens to the public, a commemorative mug and food/drink tickets. GET TICKETS!

3. Covered Weihnachtswald (Christmas Forest) that will keep both our beautifully decorated non-profit trees and our marketgoers a bit cozier and hopefully help us raise even more money for so many worthwhile causes across Iowa. 

4. INGE ornaments for sale An der Weihnachtsecke: Inge-Glas of Germany is the oldest Christmas ornament company in the world. They started in the mid-1850’s in Lauscha, Germany. Their Christmas Heirloom glass ornaments are the result of 14 generations of glass blowing expertise and a cache of over 6000 antique and new molds. These German mouth-blown and hand-painted ornaments represent the skill, heart and effort of over 250 craftsmen employed by Inge-Glas. Inge ornaments are easily recognizable by their trademark STAR CAP.

5. Three Glühwein serving areas – With an expanded venue comes an additional Glühwein serving area to help meet your demands! We will have a total of three Glühwein and two beer serving areas at Christkindlmarket Des Moines this year.

6. We’re pleased to feature Verak X.O. as a Glühwein add-in at #CDM2019. This brandy comes to us all the way from Stone Castle Winery in Kosovo. Have it added to your Glühwein for that added “kick”!

7. 31 vendors: 14 vendors serving food, 17 gift and specialty vendors

8. 13 New vendors: Held Companies, Nymph In The Woods, Three In One Artworks, Danish Windmill, K & S Kitchen LLC, The Kringle Man (Village Cafe), The Big Red Food Truck, Pam Hyde Pottery, Kids in The Hall, The Danish Table :: Hygge Kitchen ::, Swede Point Creamery, DreiBerge Coffee, Hot Lunch

BySuzanne Hull

How to Bid on a Silent Auction Christmas Tree

You will once again be able to bid on silent auction items via text and online at

Here, you can view and bid on silent auction trees starting December 5th at 5pm during our preview event, “Twas the Night Before CDM 2019” and through the duration of the market December 6th– 8th with bidding closing at 3pm Sunday, December 8th. If you are lucky enough to place the winning bid, you can pick the tree up Sunday evening, December 8th between 5:30 and 7:30pm.

You will notice that once you join the auction, you will receive a link to view all the items. Because you are bidding via text, you will receive a notification each time someone outbids you, and when you are the winning bidder. You can pay and receive your items more quickly than ever before. 

Here’s how to join the auction.

Text the keyword cdm2019 to 843.606.5995 or go online to register and start bidding on December 5th at 5pm.

1. If you already have a Bidr account, you will be ready to bid! If not, the text will welcome you to the auction and ask for your name.  

2. Once you have provided your name, Bidr will invite you to bid on an item by entering an item ID or by clicking on the link to the event website.

3. You can find item numbers on the Item Cards set up at the event.

4. Once you have texted the item number, Bidr will tell you what the current bid is.

5. Then you simply text in your bid, no dollar signs or commas needed.  

6. Bidr will confirm your bid AND give you the opportunity to text “delete bid” if you entered your bid incorrectly.

7. Bidr will notify you through text each time you are outbid and give you the opportunity to bid again.

**Should you have any problems bidding, contact the auction organizer by emailing Missy at

Note: All item numbers will have a zero first. The zero must be input for the system to register this as an item and not a bid.

BySuzanne Hull

Silent Auction Tree Blog Feature: Daughters of Norway’s Eva Nansen Lodge 46

We are happy to welcome back the Daughters of Norway’s Eva Nansen Lodge 46 for their fourth year as participant in the Christkindlmarket Des Moines Silent Auction.

The Daughters of Norway are proud to continue the legacy of Nordic heritage throughout Iowa with cultural arts, history, and traditions that our ancestors brought to America to share among today’s children and women of all ages

“We participate in the Silent Auction because it is a great opportunity to reach out in Central Iowa as well as the State of Iowa and letting the public know about our organization,” explains Sandy Hansen, lodge member. “This community event is another way for our Sisters to be involved in togetherness and kick-off the holiday season by decorating a heritage Christmas tree.”

Winter Solstice guardian angels and Scandinavian mythological guardian Gnomes will be the theme of this years tree. It will be decorated with a variety of angels and Scandinavian gnomes that charmingly characterize the Christmas holidays and will be accented with lights and ornament balls.

For more information on the Daughters of Norway’s Eva Nansen Lodge 46, visit their website.

BySuzanne Hull

Silent Auction Tree Blog Feature: Taysia Blue Rescue

Taysia Blue Rescue is back for a second straight year, and we can’t wait to see how they plan to deck their tree!

“We participate in the CDM auction as a fun event for our volunteers to work together to be creative and decorate the tree (a couple of our volunteers talk about this throughout the year to get theme ideas),” explains representative Erica Hellmich. “By being a part of this, Taysia Blue Rescue is being exposed to a wide audience that may not otherwise hear about us. Our rescue is a husky and malamute breed specific rescue and what is better than cold, Christmas and northern breed dogs?”

Taysia Blue Husky and Malamute Rescue is a 100% volunteer and foster based organization that pulls dogs from shelters where they are at risk of being euthanized and also takes on Huskies and Malamutes that have medical issues such as Heartworm and orthopedic problems.

The Silent Auction funds for this tree will allow the Rescue to continue to take in dogs that come with expensive medical needs such as surgeries and Heartworm treatment.

If you are interested in learning more about Taysia Blue Rescue, please visit their website.